San Diego Zoo Collections
The San Diego Zoo’s 100 acres are home to a wide variety of extraordinary plants from habitats around the world, many of them rare in botanical collections. The Zoo maintains eight accredited plant collections, along with the thousands of plants that create the animal habitats and surround visitors in lush, exotic, and peaceful landscapes. From plants known for their colorful blossoms to stately, shade-giving trees to prickly denizens of the desert, the Zoo’s plants inspire admiration at every turn. To explore these leafy wonders, the Zoo offers “Plant Day” on the third Friday of every month, with a chance to wander inside the usually closed Orchid House and a variety of self-guided Botanical Walking Tours to discover more about this garden of earthly delights.
Feeding the Animals
Our horticulture team members have established themselves as among the best in the world at creating outstanding naturalistic habitats for animals. Our staff includes world-class browse specialists, who grow and manage specialized plant species specifically to feed Zoo and Park animals. These browse farms and gardens that comprise the San Diego Zoo Global Browse Program grow a wide variety of bamboo species for pandas and other animals, eucalyptus for the koalas, acacia trees for giraffes, ficus for many different species, and a variety of shrubs and herbaceous plants that produce leaves and flowers that animals eat and use as habitat enrichment. Since these plants grow year-round in San Diego, our browse specialists also work with other zoos and ship fresh cuttings nationwide when needed.